Thursday, September 30, 2010

We are fragile

Leandra Witchwood
September 30, 2010

As I watched the video clip on my computer I was hoping it was something silly. Sadly, I knew her message was serious. I hit play crossed my fingers and listened. I watched her teary eyes as she sat in her talk show host chair on her brightly decorated set. Out of character, she was emotionally serious. Her usual humor was subdued, taken over by grief.

She spoke of a situation where boy that was announced as being gay over the internet. It is apparent that this was not the boy’s wish or desire to have his personal business announced so coldly. After the announcement this boy was bullied and eventually committed suicide. The news of this horrible tragedy struck me hard.

Some might say that the issue runs much deeper than bullying and personal business made public. Perhaps the boy had other issues prior to his public humiliation. I think this issue is as deep as any needed to be. Imagine your entire social umbrella coming to a complete collapse. Imagine people you once trusted turning on you, simply because you are who you are. Imagine as a teenager, an uncertain life becoming endlessly hopeless and miserable.

We forget as a culture how fragile we really are. We forget that what we say and do impacts others in a profound way. Somehow our society has decided that empathy and compassion are weaknesses, and in this we do a disservice to ourselves and our future generations. Maybe our ill tolerance comes from what we have been taught as a culture. When we are hurt we are told to, “Suck it up and be strong”. We are taught to choke back the tears as we are broken by the ill tolerance of others. Rarely are we encouraged and supported in standing up against ill tolerance and contempt.

Bullying has been a widely discussed issue lately as more and more kids lose their lives. What people do and say is important. Children are most vulnerable as they are learning to find their place in this crazy big world. When they are told they are inadequate, often enough, they eventually believe this to be true. Sadly, this mindset is hard to remove. It takes a lot of will and dedication to change this kind of programming. Once this mindset ingrained it will follow the child into adulthood. The adult will continue to believe they are not good enough, despite any wonderful things he/she may accomplish over the years.

Children who bully other children (as well as adults who bully other adults) learn this skill from others. One could speculate that abuse in the home is the culprit, or perhaps the said person learns the skill from the harshness of his/her environment minus any abuse. Maybe TV and Movies are to blame. I have also seen ill tolerance taught in churches. People who hold roles of authority need to remember that what they say and do is taken very seriously by those who believe in them.

If you watch children with their parents and family in a candid fashion you being to learn a lot about how having authority over another person helps dictate actions and beliefs. A parent who is aggressive and harsh is teaching his/her children to be aggressive and harsh. A religious leader who preaches hate and damnation toward others who are of different lifestyles and faiths is teaching his/her congregation to be hateful and ill tolerant.
How we act, think, and react to every situation, matters! The classic, “Do as I say and not as I do” speech does nothing to teach anyone right and wrong. In the example of children, they learn from example. Just as a toddler learns to throw a ball by watching someone else throw a ball, a child also learns how to behave by watching his/her parents or guardians behave. Changing the way children interact with one another begins with how we interact with one another. Relationships begin with words and common ground. What we do and say determines the relationships we forge.

Yes, we have the freedom to say whatever we like in a public venue, but at what cost? American’s are playing a large role in creating an epidemic of violence and hate. When we choose to say harsh things to others we are not only hurting that person/group but we also are hurting ourselves. When we allow this behavior to thrive we create a cycle that is relentless and unending. No one person or group deserves to be publically humiliated or disrespected.

The Gay and Lesbian debate has been only one hot topic in the area of bullying vs. tolerance. Religion is another area where tolerance is greatly needed. I am reminded of a recent the issue involving a church group in Florida. It is clear that the Pastor of this church was seeking publicity by planning a public burning the Quran, but he also sent another disturbing message. His public display revealed that many Americans are buying into the wrong ideals. The ideal that hate will solve the issue. As I look back on history I realize that hate really has not gotten us very far.

Someone once said to me, “Change your mind and you will change your life.” This phrase resonates more true now than ever. If we could change the way we interact and behave with one another we could change the world. If we chose to be polite instead of discourteous we could add value to every interaction. If we chose patience over rushing we would have the opportunity to experience life and those within our lives. Bad experiences are not avoidable, but if we chose to deal with them differently we can overcome their desperate trap created by fear and hate.

When you are faced with something that is different and it forces you out of your comfort zone, remember you have an enormous opportunity. It is within this moment of anxiety and uncertainty you have the ability to choose. In that moment, will you choose to become fear filled and reject the experience? Or will you choose to embrace your discomfort and learn more about the experience? The choice is always yours.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

It is almost Samhain Time...

Or Halloween Which ever you prefer

Now that Fall is at our heals, I have been swimming in inspiration. I am so happy that the weather is cooling off and I feel energized. I went through all my Halloween decorations (in the dusty dungeon also known as the basement) and I am ready to roll.

I am following my heart and I am creating a journal of my Halloween decorating shenanigans. From putting my GIANT spider web to my new creations... Cocoon sacks. Say it with me.. "Ooohhhhhhh". Not yet sure what I will do with this journal, but it could be handy someday to someone... somewhere.

Perhaps I will post snippets here on this blog for you to find your own inspiration.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It has been a loooong time

Bright Blessings!

I feel I must apologize to those of you out there who follow my blog of ramblings and inner thoughts. I have to admit that no matter how hard I try I have issues igniting my creative side in the late Spring and Summer. I am one of those who is most inspired in the fall, winter and early spring. Strange as it may seem, LOL.

Now that the energy has shifted and we are heading toward the darkening time of the year. I feel my inner muse awakening.

I hope to write some inspirational poems, articles, and ramblings for you to enjoy. My ultimate hope is that you too will become inspired to follow your heart.

Have a great evening out there in cyber space and I hope to have something for you soon.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring time come and with it the Sun.

Spring time come and with it the sun.

The light within is burning bright as we dance by the fires at midnight.

Peace and stillness that I find brings me close to heart and mind.

Truth be near as I seek my path within the trees. Divinity within I seek to please.

The light within is burning bright as we dance by the fires at midnight.

Spring time brings a sense of peace and urgency. In my heart the words I kept, as inspiration once slept.

Spiraling power let it grow, the inner Magick that I know.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

God: Universal Power, Universal Influence, and Universal Teacher.

I do not think of God as a being, or one who resembles the personality and emotions of a human. God is absolutely more than that!

God is a Universal power. One who knows all, see all, and understands what really matters. I find God in every form, male, female, animal, plant, and mineral. God is Goddess, and Goddess is God. A Universal power filled with love and hate, peace and chaos, creation and destruction. Universal Power is well balanced, serving the greater plan. Someday we might understand this plan, but not just yet.

I leave my fears, worries, and needs in the metaphoric hands of the Universe, as I know it will provide what I need when I need it. I do my best to live in each moment, fully. I strive to remain a positive beacon of light, which will absorb and create more positive change in my life as I live my life wholly and freely.

    The Universe knows my limits, my strengths, and my weaknesses. I will be tested as I am given the opportunity to grow. I will be encouraged to step outside my "comfort zone", where I will be shown a new level of existence and harmony with the Universe. There will be times when I question what I believe. There will be times when others challenge my beliefs and ideals. As these questions and challenges take to my path, I will indulge them and I will grow stronger on my path as I am led to my greatest potential.

I will refrain from judging others who judge me as I walk my path. I will remain true to the one who matters most on my path. This is my own journey.

Positive change and growth is my mantra. I will speak it when I rise. I will remember it as I make my way through each day and I will speak it again before I sleep.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Live Each Moment

The present moment is all that matters. The past does not... The future does not.

What you experience here and now, feelings, thoughts, and judgments, are all up to you.

Our perceptions are colored by our thoughts. The endless inner chatter that floods us and takes over is what clouds our true ability. Once we take back the present moment, we begin to understand what we lost.

Everything depends on us, as a collective. We are united if we choose. We are one people searching for the greater good, if we so choose!

If we choose to love instead of hate, we be it!

If we choose to help instead of hinder, we will achieve it!

If we choose flexibility over rigid uniformity, we will become tolerant of one another.

If we choose peace over violence, we will at last become peaceful.

The answer is in each moment as we experience them. As we live each moment, we have renewed and endless opportunity.

Nothing matters, except this moment, right here and right now. The past does not... the future does not. Here and now is where it all begins.

Aman Nai

Monday, February 15, 2010

Coffee and Clouds

As the sun struggles to peek through the clouds, I find myself thinking deeply about many things. I think thoughts of community, friendships, heartaches, spirituality, relationships, and more. In my thoughts, I find myself questioning why people and community are so important to me. I wonder this because more than enough times my fellow patrons of this community have slashed me, discarded me, spoken ill about me, and worst of all… the closest of those to me have abandoned me.

So why should this community mean something to me? Why should I care? Why do i continue to reflect and ask?

The answers are fleeting like puffs of cloud racing on the wind. With my coffee warm in my hands, I hold it hoping the warmth will stir the answers within, bubbling answers fourth like a tasteful drink of clarity.

Reflection is a necessary evil when one wants to grow. Sometimes the reflection can be negative in nature, but if allowed it will open the reflectors eyes to new possibilities previously over-looked. It is important to remember how we obtain balance... without light we would not have dark. Without sadness we would not know happiness. A continual ebb and flow is necessary when finding balance and maintaining balance.

Each of us is a being in himself and a being in society, each of us needs to understand himself and understand others, take care of others and be taken care of himself. ~Haniel Long

Monday, February 1, 2010

Warrior of Light

I am open
I am seeking
Light come to me
As I sleep
As I walk the plane of mist and visions.
Light visions let me see with my willing heart.
From darkness I emerge into another life
Surrounded by the veil covered by my tears
Light break through the darkness
I am a warrior of peace
I am a warrior of light
I am a warrior who moves beyond time
Peace come to you from your inner womb,
sooth me away from doom
Come to the brilliance and away from despair
Come to me your soul I shall prepare

-Leandra Witchwood

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Magick of Negativity, Perhaps there is a lesson to learn

-Leandra Witchwood

January 18, 2010

We stood with our backs to the fire, each of us holding a mirror out to the forest. The fire was warm on my back and everything was dark except for the fire light flickering on the surrounding trees. We gathered on this night to banish an influence we perceived to be a threat. We were convinced that the illness creeping upon us was from an outside source and was determined to tear us apart. As we held our mirrors out to the night we chanted and willed away the negativity and those who would carry illness to our group.

    Our ritual lasted long into the night. Each of us took our turn voicing the illness we sought to banish. As the time wore down so did the candles and fire. When we finished the light was very dim. We sat around what remained of the fire talking and sipping wine in our usual pleasant way.

I hoped that after this ritual I would feel a weight lift from me, but instead something remained. I could still feel a certain darkness looming over me but I did not have the foresight to know the real issue. Over the next several weeks and months our group fell apart. Some were cast out with just cause, some pushed out for no real reason, leaving only a few who still met on occasion.

Before this we led ourselves to believe that there were outside influences seeking our downfall. We were rather arrogant to feel that people in our community were somehow jealous of us. Of course there were several other circumstances in the mix that helped lead us to our conclusions, but when I look back I now know that we had no real proof.

It took me a while following the collapse of this group for me to realize the real issue. The issue was not any outside source of malice, we were the issue. We were our own downfall. The group stopped listening and believing in one another. We cast out one another before we looked for the truth of the matter. Instead of remaining true friends we became enemies and eventually strangers.

Negativity is a special energy lending to a special Magick. It is sneaky and knows exactly what you want to hear at any given time. It is ego driven and selfish. It will lie to you and tell you things that it knows you want to believe, even when they don't make sense. It will place over your eyes a veil that will cloud your view of intent. Negativity breeds negativity and grows like a weed. It will give you a bad outlook on life and people leading to depression and self oppression. It will poison your relationships and make you blind to the truth. Negativity needs to me monitored indefinitely. Once we allow it to go out of control it is very hard to bring back down to a manageable level. There is a time and a place for negativity, after all balance is crucial to becoming a spiritual being. If we never know pain and anguish we will not ever know love and tranquility.

Now this is very hard for many people to hear… but, I have to say it. From my experience I have learned that the real issue is not the person who brings the negative influence, instead it is the person who complains about the perceived negative experience. Yep I said it. It isn't the one who annoys you, it is you. How we see things matters. Our perceptions color everything we experience. When people who come to us with negative emotions, complaints, etc. could it be that they are really only looking for some resolution and maybe companionship? Perhaps they are simply looking for some help or trying to connect with you in the only way they know how. When we dismiss them or seek to remove them from our life we are only adding to the negativity and creating room for more. I have a good example of what I mean.

Most recently I read a thread from a woman seeking to banish a negative co-worker from her life so she could get more work done and not have to deal with her negative influences. What I noticed is that the person writing the thread was exuding a great deal of negativity herself. If I have learned anything from the "Law of Attraction" it is this, "What we put forth is what we attract". Simply put, if you want to attract positive and helpful energy to your daily life you will need to become positive and helpful energy. When we complain about others and place blame we are contradicting our search for positive and helpful energy. By banishing or forcefully removing an energy we invite into our lives, like negativity, we leave a void. This void is filled by something larger and more stubborn than the previous negativity. The reason for this is because we are still attracting the negative energy by focusing on it. It truly is a vicious cycle and one that is not always identified!

One way to turn this cycle around is to change our view and reactions to the things we perceive as negative or annoying. It is not always easy to do, especially when we are in a full blown cycle complete with blinders. Don't worry there are a hundred and one simple things you can do each day that will help you break this cycle. One step is to accept that each day is a new day. Each new day is a new opportunity to make little changes that add up to big differences in the long term. If you mess up, try again tomorrow, and you will do better.

Here is one simple thing you can try the next time you are faced with a negative influence you wish gone. Instead of focusing on all the things you dislike about your co-worker(s), family, friends, job… etc. Find at least one positive thing you like. I know in some cases this is really… I mean REALLY hard, but you can do it. Once you find that positive thing, hold on to it and remember it every time you feel the urge to scream and come out of your skin. Once you remember this positive attribute, smile. Then, as that person passes through your space, wish them blessings of peace, joy, and gratitude.

When you have had an especially hard day or experience and you feel that the only way you will get any resolution is to perform a banishing ritual, try this instead. Create a place for yourself that will help relax you. Light some candles, incense, call the quarters… whatever it is you usually do to feel peaceful and create your sacred space. Sit comfortably and breathe into your core. When you are ready, picture the person you are having issues with and hold their image in your mind. Look at their hair, clothes, face, etc. Next decide on some gifts you would like to give to this person. It can be as many or as few as you like, but remember they must be positive. One gift can be a gift of peace, another can be a gift of happiness, and so on. As you hand each gift to this person, watch them as they un-wrap your gifts. Watch them untie the bow and open the paper. See their face as they smile and feel the pleasure of what you have given them. Perhaps you can even take this to another level and give this person a simple and tangible gift that you have infused with gentle positive energy. It can be a simple decoration for their desk, a wreath, or a pen just keep it small and simple.

The simple act of removing ourselves from negative thinking will always give us the opportunity to grow the positive things we seek. We have good intentions when we seek to banish the negativity we perceive in our lives, but with all good intentions come blind spots. Positive and negative energy are equal in their power when it comes to Magick. When you cast, like a boomerang, the energy that has left you will come back. The difference is what you will attract to yourself as the Magick circles back. What will your boomerang bring back with it?

I no longer practice banishing spells or incorporate banishing into any of my Magickal works. Instead, I focus on bringing in the things that are joyful and enjoyable into my life. During my learning experience with negativity, I have found that it brings back more good than I ever expected. Since I have changed my focus I feel better every day. I see things in a different light from before. When people annoy me I now know how to better handle the negative influence. The most important thing is when I want something there is nothing hindering it from coming to me. All my needs are met and I am happier than I have been in a long time.

I will leave you with this last thought.

The only thing that is truly tangible is now, right here in this moment. The past is not, the future is not. What we feel and how we feel about the past and future is here and now, and we have the ability to change our perceptions of both. In this we also change what will come to us as we move from present into future.

Good things will come to those who seek positive energy, prosperity will come to those who seek to be prosperous, and joy will come to those who are joyful.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

An Eco Challenge for ALL Year!

This challenge is taken from Julia Butterfly so I cannot claim any ownership to it. BUT I think it is a fantastic challenge and definitely opens one’s eyes to how wasteful we really are. I originally posted this in December of 2007 and thought it needed another go around!

The challenge is to carry your garbage around with you for one week. You can carry it in a duffel bag, backpack, etc. and take it with you everywhere. Take it to the bathroom, school, work, the gym, etc. At the end of the week weigh and measure the bag. You will be astounded!

The purpose of this challenge is to show each of us how much waste we actually produce. This is a great way to recognize your true carbon foot print!

I think once you learn how much trash you actually produce you will learn ways to reduce your wasteful tendencies. It is also a great realization of what could happen if we continue to over fill our dumps and landfills without seeking our alternative methods like composting, recycling, etc. Where is the garbage going to go when there is no place left? Perhaps it will end up in your own backyard...

After you complete the challenge do it again in one month and see if you have decreased the amount of garbage, you produce. Decreasing the amount of garbage we each produce is the goal!

If you cannot do it for a full week, try it for a day or two. You will still be amazed!

Good luck!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Butt Prints in the Sand

Blessed Meeting!
I find we fall into a patterns where we unknowingly expect others to take care of our own issues. We do this in ways that are subtle and obscure. We are even clever enough to hide this from our selves. In some cases we try to force others to take the blame for our own mistakes.

This spiritual path is one of self. We follow a path of growth and transmutation. We are challenged to look inward so are able to confront our own inner demons and destructive behaviors.
To know ourselves and help ourselves is one of the most powerful and important tasks on this path. Standing on our own two feet allows us to stand beside the Goddess as she teaches us to walk with conviction.

We must help ourselves. We must listen to the deep inner voice that guides us and urges us to grow. We also must listen to the advice and messages of those who have come before us.

Blessed Be!

Reflections for the New Year

I began writing this to some friends I once felt very close to. My original intent was to mend old and broken relations with this group, but quickly found a more serving purpose. To explain, these relationships seemed to wither and die without explanation. It now feels to me like one day these people were all around me expressing love and compassion, and the next they were gone! Poof! Like an evil curse was cast upon me.

When these relationships went sour I was in a lot of emotional pain. I felt like my entire world was crashing down around me. A long time afterward I was depressed because I missed the people who once made me feel happy and accepted. I also felt like I did something terribly wrong, but no one would tell me what. No one would help me understand what has happened despite my numerous attempts to make amends.

Oh! In addition to all this, I was pregnant with my second child. I am certain that the hormones of being pregnant didn't help my situation, but instead of sticking with me, my "friends" turned away from me. I never got the support I needed from these people who I valued in my life. It was really a sad time for me. They missed my entire pregnancy and now they have missed all the other cool things that come with having a new baby. My son is nearly 11 months old and there is so much more they will miss.

Anyway, every New Year's Eve I take time to reflect on the things in my life I would like to "do over". The purpose is to identify the things I know I did wrong and to not make the same mistakes again. Yes, of course, losing these relationships is one of those things I wish I could do over. In taking this depressing reflection I also learned that there is a lesson all of this pain and separation. This lesson is something I wanted to share with all of you. This experience is for anyone who has experience the loss of important friends and relationships.

I hope you can read this and find some value in it for your own health and new beginnings. Happy New Year!


When I needed you the most;

When you saw the tears in my eyes, you turned away from me.

When I cried out, you ignored my need.

When I told you I was broken, you put your hands up and said there was nothing you would do.

So much time has passed and I still wonder why. There are so many questions unanswered. So many opportunities lost.

Something inside me still cries out to mend the past. With my heart broken and bleeding again I call out to you. The pain of being easily cast aside remains on my heart. The feeling of never being important enough to matter has left a vicious hole.

I call out for peace. I call out for relief. I call out for healing.

Yet my cries remain ignored.

You have missed so much. So many things I wanted to share with you. I miss you, my former sister. I miss your smile and laughter. I miss the fun we once shared and the support we offered.

Your absence in my life is deeply felt. I cannot simply forget our bond. Even after I have moved on and taken on new tasks, friendships, and goals… I still feel the void that was once filled by your friendship.

Perhaps if I matter to you, as much as you mattered to me, you would feel the same void.

So I now wonder… I wonder why I would want a friend who would turn on me so easily. My sense over takes my emotions and brings me back to awareness. When I needed you most you made yourself absent. When I needed your support you took it away. What value could you possibly have that would force me to pursue your friendship once again?

Well… In fully thinking things through, I don't want that again.

You are a terrible friend. Really! You were only a friend in fair weather! Who needs that! I certainly don't! I need real friends who are genuinely caring, compassionate, and loyal. I need real friends who want me around because they love me and not simply because I can offer them something they value and then toss me aside as soon as they are done with my talents, knowledge and gifts. I need loyal friends who are her for the long run.

How blind was I?! These things are not you! What an illusion to believe that you were ever a true friend.

Wow! A true friend would have stuck with me through good times and bad. Only a true friend would be this well rounded. Only a true friend would be courteous and honest. A true friend would have taken the time to know me and understand me. A true friend is not concerned about self but rather is concerned about relationships.

Thank you for vacating my life! Lesson learned!

Now I can make the most of my future relationships.